There are a lot of different reasons people apply to be on camp staff. Some people want something to put on their resume, some just need something to do for the summer, and there are some people who just love camp. I am one of those people who just love camp. I didn’t apply to camp staff knowing I would someday inspire someone to be on camp staff. It never crossed my mind while I was filling out my application that I would be someone’s favorite staff member or be a person that a camper could look up to or want to be like. Over the years I spent on summer staff I realized that I was that kind of person, but I never knew how many campers I reached or impacted. Roughly 2,000 campers come to camp every summer, so for me since 2005 I have seen 22,000 campers, give or take a few. If I can make a positive impact on any of those kids then I am doing my job. Who knows what the positive impact from a summer staff can do for a camper’s life, what direction it can send that camper in. Maybe one day that camper will be president, a famous singer, an author, a soldier, an actor, or a doctor.

But here’s the actual point of my blog today. A few weeks ago a young lady sent me the following message on Facebook.

“Hi! You probably don’t remember me but I was a camper one year that you were on camp staff. You were my favorite staff member and you seemed to have always led my favorite songs. Also my friends used to tell me I looked like you but I think it was just the blonde braids. But anyway I just wanted to say thanks for being awesome that week of camp. I was on camp staff last year and I got a whole new perspective on 4H camp! I still love it none the less. Just thought you’d be excited to know you inspired someone else to be a staff member because of the impact you left on me. Thanks again. :)”

Getting this message warmed my heart. She was a camper when I worked at the Southwest Center, and she finally made it to Summer Staff. I’m sorry to say that I don’t remember her, but after meeting 22,000 campers it’s kind of hard to remember everyone. When I was on staff that year I didn’t know the impact I had on her. I’m glad she found me on Facebook and messaged me. I hope she made an impact and inspired some future staff members last summer. I know she did.

If you’re planning on applying for summer staff whatever your reasons are, just know that you will make an impression on some camper’s life. You may not intend to, but it will happen. You may not even know its happening. Every time you sing a certain song, every time you tell a joke, any time you talk to them, you’re impacting their life.

One more thing, I printed the message out and carry it around in my wallet and look at it when I need a little pick-me-up.

Southwest Summer Staff 2006
Holiday Lake Summer Staff 2009

~Kelsey Brown

~Freak Show

Program Assistant



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